The History of Using AR Rifles for Hunting

AR Hunting Rifles
AR Hunting Rifles
Hunter Ed
Hunter Ed

USA – -( The history of hunting firearms in the United States has been tied to technology developed for our military since the Civil War.

Prior to that, our armed citizens used their hunting rifles and muskets to fight when they joined the militia!

But with the introduction of Spencer and Henry lever-action rifles during the 1860s, the stage was set for so called “military” rifles to become the new hunting guns because that’s where the newest technology was applied first.

That was particularly true of the Mauser and 1903 Springfield bolt-action rifles developed for World War I. Bolt-actions became the standard hunting rifle because of their inherent accuracy — and partially because the .30-06 cartridge is still one of the most useful all-around hunting rounds in the world.

So, it should be no surprise that the AR-15/AR-10 platform rifles (also known as Modern Sporting Rifles or MSRs) have become the top-selling rifles in the United States over the past 10-15 years. Our modern soldiers are most familiar with them from their service, and that’s what they want to use for their sporting pursuits, too.

Now, many people are using them for everything from varmint hunting to big game hunting.

You can find tons of information about the best AR-10 rifle for hunting — or even for deer hunting — and about which caliber is best for hunting with an AR-15. However, we couldn’t find any information about the unique differences of hunting with an AR vs. hunting with a bolt-action or lever-action rifle. But there are some mechanical differences, obviously, and some differences in effectively using an MSR for hunting.

Hunting With AR/MSR Rifles

We created this infographic as a handy guide to help you remember a few things that can make you effective and safe while hunting with an AR this year.

Hunting Tips for AR Platform Rifles
Hunting Tips for AR Platform Rifles ( Click for Larger View)

You can use it to teach your kids, and you can even print it and laminate it for use as a checklist each day when you head into the field. AR/MSR rifles are going to become more and more common in the woods and fields in the coming years because they can be customized for every type of hunting and shooting, and they’re fun and effective. Just make sure you keep these AR hunting tips in mind. Good hunting! Visit:

About Hunter Ed is committed to hunter education safety. We work with state agencies to produce a hunter safety education course that’s accurate, interesting, and easy to understand. We provide print and Internet hunting safety courses for more than 35 states.

About Kalkomey
Kalkomey, which produces, is an official provider of recreational safety education materials for all 50 states. An American company based in Dallas, Texas, Kalkomey produces print and Internet courses that have provided official safety certification since 1995. Kalkomey offers safety courses in boating, hunting, bowhunting, and off-road vehicle and snowmobile operation. For more information, visit

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Jamie Clemons

I misread it. I thought it was about Air rifles used for hunting.


I started hunting groundhogs with a Colt AR-15 SP1 in 1979 or 1980 and gun magazines showed AR-15s, Mini-14s, and other military styled firearms, for coyote hunting and other types of hunting since the 1970s.